For whatever reason, whenever I tell people that I haven’t been able to find permanent work they are quick to assume that it must be my job search strategy. To them, there must be hundreds if not thousands of appropriate jobs out there for me to find if only I knew how to find them. Perhaps these jobs do exist, or perhaps they don’t, in either case I still try to follow the advice provided by my law school career services office and my mentors, contacts, and old bosses:
- I volunteer in areas of law that interest me. These tend to be one shot, simple issues mainly because I don’t have malpractice insurance or years of experience to back me up and they’ll only trust me with so much.
- I talk to attorneys who do what I would like to do and ask them for tips (tip: things were easier earlier–perhaps I should be born a decade earlier or so?)
- I talk to law school colleagues, old bosses, mentors, etc. for leads. They all know I’m looking and what I’m looking for.
- I look on job aggregation websites like indeed using daily email alerts based on my saved job searches. (I use IFTT.com to monitor craigslist and let me know when law jobs in my area pop up).
- I post ads/resumes to craigslist (it’s the only site that’s ever given me any sort of results believe it or not).
- When I find a job to apply to, I always craft a cover letter and usually tweak my resume to play up my strengths as they pertain to that job.
- I have a standing application with the local government.
- I check USA jobs regularly.
- I apply for positions at my current skill level as well as below and above my skill level.
- If I get a job interview I re-research the organization/person/etc. (I check linked in and see if we have any people in common and I prod them for info, I check to see if they have any contacts with my past employers, schools, etc. and make a note to mention it if so), I research the area of law if I’m not completely familiar with it so I can answer technical questions and have an opinion on the laws surrounding the area, I go over my resume and come up with one or two tangible examples of times I’ve used the skills mentioned in my resume for a particular job, I review common interview questions and come up with outlines of answers so I don’t fumble over my words or have a lot of dead air in my responses, I arrive 10 minutes early just in case I have to go through security etc., I always give a handwritten thank you note and follow up (I always ask when the latest I could expect to hear from them and contact them if I don’t hear back by that point).
If the above steps are not enough to produce any results is there some trick I’m unaware of at this point? Or is it that job prospects remain poor and it’s hard to search for jobs (no matter how brilliant your strategy) when they simply are not there?